So, there I was last Saturday evening at Studio BPM in Williamsburg, a very friendly Japanese dude's apartment that doubles as a music venue. A homie of mine hipped me to a roots reggae show that they were having there, and so I went.
The place was pretty nondescript. If I were walking any faster, I probably would have passed it. I walked down a dark, narrow flight of stone steps and then up another flight of stone steps. And sitting behind a table was the aforementioned friendly Japanese dude. He asked an $8 donation, half of which I paid. (Afterwards, I realized I should have paid way more. It was a $15 show at least.)
Onstage, backed by some young white dudes on bass guitar and drums, were two ancient Rastas clad in pins and all variations of red, yellow and green. Scarves, hats, belts, cuff links. Okay, maybe not cuff links, but you get the picture. One of the two dudes was on lead vocals, while the other sat in a chair, banging out a rhythm on a tambourine, and wearing a neck brace. He made the neck brace look cool and intentional somehow.
Anyclot, after a couple songs ("There is a land. Far, far awaaaaay..."), the show was over. Sigh. I forgot to mention that I had arrived late.
The DJ came on to fill the sonic void and dropped the beat to one of the best--and most quintessentially post-modern--hip-hop songs of all time, dead prez's "(It's Bigger Than) Hip-Hop". This is when something magical happened.
Instead of hearing the gruff, radicalized lyrics of m1 and stic man, the voice of a nasally Jamaican singjay--sounding vaguely like Junior Reid--blared over the beat. He said four words that exploded my mind.
It's bigger than REEEGGAAAAEEEEEE!!!!!!
First of all, before I discuss, how my knees buckled, my bloodshot eyes cleared, and my very red blood cells started licking shots into the air, let me ask you, my dear reader: Where do I find this song??? (Do you see how serious this is? I never use triple consecutive punctuation! Fuck, I should have asked the DJ what it was. Fuck!!!)
Second of all, and this brings me to the crux of my post today: why haven't other musical genres taken advantage of the "It's bigger than..." franchise.
"[It's Bigger Than] Suicide-Inducing Indie Rock," by Antony and the Johnsons
"[It's Bigger Than] R & B [& Pissing on Teens][But Not Much Bigger]," by R. Kelly
"[It's Bigger Than] Afroman," by Afroman
"[It's Bigger Than] Salsa," by Some Dude Barking Random Gibberish Over An Organ At SuperSonic Speed
"[It's Bigger Than] Music Your Mom Likes But So Do You," by John Legend
I'm sure people could think of more songs to add to this revolutionary but gangsta list.